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20121201
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are battle zones. it is a city that has a big middle class that was a thriving commercial hub, and people do not know what is going to happen. physically, do a spot check points over the place. this used to be one of the most secure capitals of the middle east. host: where is president assad at the moment? caller: we seldom see him. occasionally he will make a public appearance. by and large, i think he is invisible. he is not highly visible for someone who was made such a determined effort to stay in power, despite what is happened to his country. occasionally he will give an interview to the foreign press or even the national press. he is more visible in posters at this point. host: the "l.a. times" bureau chief joining us here in washington. you can'm wondering if provide an update on what is happening in tripoli from your vantage point. caller: i just spent a couple of days up there. it is the second set of web and on. -- city of lebanon. sunni muslims car the prevalent population and prevalent rebel group. there's been periodic combat there between sunni gunmen and people who are part o
seen cutting-edge defenses protect israel, cities and rural areas. we have seen israel fight for and win a stop to rocket fire from gaza. but we've also seen the challenge of turning a ceasefire into a lasting calm; of helping palestinians committed to peace find a more constructive path to pursue it; of putting israel's peace with egypt on a stronger foundation; of making sure that iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon. and just yesterday, as you know, the united nations general assembly voted to grant the palestinian authority non-member observer state status, a step that will not bring us any closer to peace. when it comes to a region full of uncertainty, upheaval, revolution, this much is constant and clear -- america and israel are in it together. this is a friendship that comes naturally to us. americans honor israel as a homeland dreamed of for generations and finally achieved by pioneering men and women in my lifetime. we share bedrock beliefs in freedom, equality, democracy, and the right to live without fear. what threatens israel threatens america, and what stren
new york city, democrat blind, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. even if we go over the fiscal cliff, we need a bigger plan because it does not even balance the budget. i don't think we really have a supply-side problem. they talk about cutting taxes on the right and i think there are so many people out of work and i think you need to get these people to work. i just think we have a demand issue, not a supply issue. if you're out of work, you cannot pay taxes. guest: he is exactly right -- no one is talking about a fiscal cliff that will solve the problem. there is no grand bargain being discussed except in the most general outline terms. there is enough to be -- nothing close to being politically acceptable. we're only talking of something of that will allow people to get through this. in the short term, we need to have fiscal policy that may get the deficit higher than what it would be. ben bernanke was saying the deficit could be cut too far and too fast at the same time. this has to be the time where we don't go into an austerity program. we are not quite there.
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